As of 3 May, adults can also give a sample from pharyngeal washings at paid SYNLAB coronavirus testing points

From 3 May onwards, adults will also have an option to give a sample from pharyngeal washings at paid SYNLAB coronavirus testing points. This change is introduced in order to make the testing process more comfortable. In the lab, the process remains unchanged – coronavirus RNA is detected from the pharyngeal washings using the same PCR method as with the nasopharyngeal sample material.

Everyone can now give a sample from pharyngeal washings at five paid SYNLAB coronavirus testing points across Estonia: Talinn: Töökoja 1, Tartu: Teguri 37B, Pärnu: Suur-Sepa 14, Narva: Kangelaste prospekt 2, and Jõhvi: Jaama 34.

Upon arriving at the testing point, you will be asked whether you prefer to give a sample the usual way, from the nasopharynx or from pharyngeal washings. At public testing points where symptomatic patients and patients suspecting they have contracted the virus are tested, adults will continue to be tested using the nasopharyngeal swab, in accordance with WHO recommendations.

To ensure proper collection of the pharyngeal washings sample material, the sample can only be given at the testing point under a health professional’s supervision. To give the sample, the patient is given 10 millilitres of physiological saline solution, which the patient gargles in the mouth (it is important to understand that it is not the same as using a mouth wash). The sample is analysed at SYNLAB Tallinn laboratory using the PCR method, and the results are received within 24 hours, just as with the nasopharyngeal sample material.

The price of the test remains the same – €58. Also, if the sample is given from pharyngeal washings, the certificate issued can be used for travelling. It can be downloaded free of charge from the TESTI app or the portal.

Karin Kallikorm, Chief Customer Service Officer at SYNLAB Eesti: “In February, we started using the pharyngeal washings method for testing children aged up to 18. The service was received very well by the children as well as parents. We have now completed the required technical development work and can also start providing the service to adults at SYNLAB’s paid testing points.”

Kallikorm recommends practicing gargling at home for 10 seconds with tap water as this will speed up the testing process. A video showing how to give a sample using this method is available HERE.

Those who prefer a PCR test from pharyngeal washings can reserve an appointment at a paid SYNLAB testing point from